Banvit win second leg but Robinson fires Monaco into Final Four
MONACO (Basketbol Şampiyonlar Ligi) - AS Monaco lost 75-74 on the night to a battling Banvit in the second leg of their Quarter-Final tie but prevailed 159-152 on aggregate to advance to a second straight Basketball Champions League Final Four.
🎉 @ASMonaco_Basket, welcome to the Final Four! Monstars suffer their first ever defeat at home in the #BasketballCL, but it's the sweetest defeat ever! #FinalFour— Basketball Champions League (@BasketballCL) April 3, 2018
📊 https://t.co/6T2uHsgaiY pic.twitter.com/l740m88zvm
Gerald Robinson hit 5 first-quarter 3-pointers and scored a game-high 30 points.
🔥🔥🔥 @ASMonaco_Basket's @GRJR22 is up to 19pts (5/6 3PTS) in the first quarter! #BasketballCL #Road2Final4— Basketball Champions League (@BasketballCL) April 3, 2018
Monaco opened up a 15-point lead, only for Banvit to battle back. The hosts had to make a lot of plays down the stretch to see the visitors off.
With 57 seconds remaining, Banvit point guard Tony Taylor stole the ball from Robinson with the visitors trailing by just three points on aggregate. He passed to Andy Rautins, but the Canadian's shoe grazed the out-of-bounds line to turn possession back to Monaco.
The Principality club then punished them, with Elmedin Kikanovic hitting a clutch free-throw line jumper with 32 seconds left to take the lead back to five points on aggregate.
Angelo Caloiaro then misfired with an attempt from behind the arc before Robinson made a pair of free-throws for the final score in the second leg.
Paul Lacombe was terrific for Monaco in the fourth quarter and finished with 11 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists.
Banvit, once again, were their own worst enemy at the free-throw line. After making just 18 of 31 (58.1 percent) in the first leg, the Bandirma outfit was 11 of 20 (55 percent) at Monaco.
"It is weird celebrating after a loss but that's the way the series is," Robinson said of Monaco punching their ticket to the Final Four. "We've reached one of our goals but want to keep it going."
Robinson wasn't surprised that Banvit clawed their way back into the tie after falling behind by such a large deficit.
"We expected that from a good team, a well coached team," he said. "We just had to stay focused. Basketball is a game of runs. It's a good thing we had the (first-leg) advantage."
Taylor excelled as the floor general, scoring 14 points and dishing out 8 assists, while Rautins again caught fire from long range, hitting 5 of 7, and led the team with 19 points.
Banvit also got outstanding contributions from Ridvan Oncel and Sehmus Hazer, with the Turkish youngsters providing plenty of energy from the bench.
"We decided before the game we wouldn't give up at any point," Rautins said. "It was too big of a points separation in the first game. I'm really proud of my guys. We fought hard but came up short."